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Suzanna Reiss on Drug Control, Coca-Cola, and Pharmaceuticals

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

Release Date: 07/01/2015

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on Predatory Inclusion show art Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on Predatory Inclusion

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

Often, analyses of the intersections between race and capitalism consider how capitalism harms dispossessed communities of color because excluding or neglecting them is profitable. But what if serving those communities could be both very profitable and very damaging to the people in them? We speak with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor about what she calls “predatory inclusion,” in which financial institutions and real estate interests sought to build black homeownership. In the process, they reaped tremendous profits and devastated the lives of black homeowners.

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Eileen Boris on the Construct of the Woman Worker show art Eileen Boris on the Construct of the Woman Worker

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

Eileen Boris on the Construct of the Woman Worker What is work? Who are workers? Which activities are considered work, and which ones are excluded? These questions are some of the most critical questions in political and economic analysis. And how they are answered—both personally and by political institutions—is vital to how people spend their time and thus their lives. On this episode, we investigate this question specifically through the international debates about the “woman worker” as a unique kind of worker. To do this, Eileen Boris looks at the International Labor...

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Adom Getachew on Anti-colonial Worldmaking show art Adom Getachew on Anti-colonial Worldmaking

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

Students in U.S. history surveys come away from their lessons on World War I with one conflict fresh in their minds: How could Woodrow Wilson, a president who advocated segregation and famously screened the racist film Birth of a Nation in the White House, also have been an architect of the League of Nations and a champion of the self-determination of colonized people in Africa and Asia? In this episode, we speak with Adom Getachew, who casts Wilson in a different light. She argues that the people who developed ideas of self-determination were instead anti-colonial elites from colonized...

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 Nan Enstad on Multinational Cigarette Corporations and Jim Crow Capitalism show art Nan Enstad on Multinational Cigarette Corporations and Jim Crow Capitalism

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

Nan Enstad on Multinational Cigarette Corporations and Jim Crow Capitalism   The multinational corporation is a pervasive institution. For example, it’s nearly impossible to listen to this show without interacting with one. But what is the history of this thing we call the multinational corporation? And who gets to count as its constituents?   Today, we investigate this topic and how it has been shaped by cigarettes—from the workers who grew the tobacco to those who governed the tobacco companies. And we discuss what this history can tell us about race, gender, region and...

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Episode 58: Chris Dietrich on the Energy Crisis and the Anticolonial Elite show art Episode 58: Chris Dietrich on the Energy Crisis and the Anticolonial Elite

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

When we talk about the 1973 energy crisis, we tend to cast it as a moment when Americans questioned assumptions about how the domestic economy worked and the U.S. role in the global economy. We don’t always spend as much time thinking about why the crisis happened, or what it represented in the Global South. OPEC’s decision to cut production and raise prices stemmed from a longer history of anti-colonial activists demanding a fundamental change in how the global economy operated. As countries with oil reserves pushed out colonial powers, local elites demanded sovereignty over their...

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Liz Montegary on the Political Economy of LGBT Families show art Liz Montegary on the Political Economy of LGBT Families

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

We’ve just ended pride month and both the victories and limits of GLBT politics were on view. In San Francisco, protesters engaged in civil disobedience action against the growing corporatization of pride. Activists in San Francisco and elsewhere questioned the role of police in pride, emphasizing that “Stonewall was a riot.”   Our guest today traverses these debates by emphasizing the politics of LGBT families. She documents the rapidly changing political landscape over the past two decades and what this has to do with the history of capitalism during this period.   is an...

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Peter Cole on the Power of Dockworkers show art Peter Cole on the Power of Dockworkers

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

We talk a lot about logistics on this show – the industries, like Amazon or FedEx, that have made fortunes managing the movement of goods from one place to another. Logistics companies undergird the globalized economy, making it possible for companies to benefit from low wages and labor abuses in the global South by moving finished products quickly and cheaply to markets all over the world. Our guest today explains how dock workers have been another force enabling the global economy to function and examines the power they wield even in the era of the container ship.

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Bernice Yeung on The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers show art Bernice Yeung on The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

The Me Too movement has brought much needed attention to sexual violence and harassment both in and outside the workplace. It has challenged patriarchal norms and practices and illuminated entrenched power hierarchies. It also drew strength from longer struggles against the many manifestations of patriarchal power.   On this month’s show, we speak to Bernice Yeung about how some of the U.S.’s most precarious workers experienced and have fought back against workplace sexual violence. She takes us into office buildings and farm fields. And she shares lessons about what can be done to...

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Juan De Lara on Logistics and Urban Space show art Juan De Lara on Logistics and Urban Space

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

Amazon's withdrawal from New York City has sparked big conversations about companies' impact on urban space, but less attention has been paid to the fact that, as logistics companies, corporations like Amazon have a particular spatial impact. Juan De Lara discusses how the logistics economy has remade urban regions and racial politics since the 1980s. 

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Randy Shaw on the Housing Affordability Crisis show art Randy Shaw on the Housing Affordability Crisis

Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism Podcast

In major cities across the country, skyrocketing rents and housing prices have pushed out workers and everyday people who are no longer able to afford the cost of living. In Los Angeles, this has led to a spike in homelessness and the increased precarity that comes from living on the streets. Since 2017, at least , many from treatable illnesses like cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and diabetes. What are some of the causes and solutions to this housing crisis?   On today’s episode we speak to Randy Shaw about his new book . In this book, Randy poses the question: “who gets to live...

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More Episodes

Today’s guest discusses the history of the coca leaf and the U.S. drug control regime. Amongst other topics, we discuss the importance of coca to both Coca-Cola and Merck and the pharmaceutical industry. For Suzanna Reiss, this provides a way to interpret the history of capitalism across the mid-twentieth century and after.

 

 

 

Suzanna Reiss is Associate Professor of History at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is author of We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of US Empire. You can read more about her work here.

 

 

 

For our New York area listeners, we will be having a live conversation with our friends from Dissent Magazine’s Belabored Podcast.

 

On July 7th at 7 PM at 61 Local in Brooklyn (61 Bergen St.) we’ll be speaking with Belabored hosts Sarah Jaffe and Michelle Chen about the histories of labor and capitalism.